After multiple delays, Williams Partners LP's expanded Geismar olefins plant in Louisiana has begun manufacturing ethylene for sale. The commissioning culminates the plant's rebuild and expansion project. Capacity at the expanded Geismar plant is 1.95 billion pounds of ethylene per year. Williams Partners' share of the total capacity of the expanded plant is about 1.7 billion pounds per year (see Daily GPI, Feb 3; Dec. 31, 2014). An explosion and fire in June 2013 at the facility killed one person and injured dozens (see Daily GPI, June 14, 2013).
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) on Monday filed with the California Public Utilities Commission for permission to embark on a five-year, $500 million effort to build out a network of 25,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations around its service territory, covering most of the northern half of the state. The chargers would be located at commercial and public locations, including multi-family dwellings, retail centers and workplaces, a PG&E spokesperson said. Other major electric utilities are expected to follow suit with similar proposals for EVs as they have for natural gas fueling services in California, Oregon and other states (see Daily GPI, Jan. 30; Dec. 24, 2013).
Triangle Petroleum Corp. said it plans to spend $165-195 million on capital expenditures (capex) during its 2016 fiscal year, which ends on Jan. 31, 2016. The capex budget, a 71% year-over-year reduction, includes $150-165 million for its operated drilling program and up to $10 million for non-operated drilling. RockPile Energy Services, Triangle's oilfield services subsidiary, would receive $15-20 million. Triangle said it plans to run a two-rig operated drilling program on average through the year, will delay all operated well completions until May or later, and anticipates having 20-24 wells awaiting completion by May 1. Triangle estimates its production for FY 2016 will be 11,000-13,000 boe/d, and range from 4.0 to 4.7 million boe.
Marathon Pipe Line LLC, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corp.'s(MPC)MPLX LP, is holding a binding open season for its Cornerstone Pipeline, which will carry condensate from the Utica Shale to MPC's Canton, OH, refinery (see Shale Daily, Dec. 5, 2013). The open season will conclude at Noon EST on March 13. The 50-mile pipeline would originate in Harrison County, OH, and share connections to various condensate stabilization, fractionator, cryogenic and storage facilities. Documents and further details related to the open season are available at www.marathonpipeline.com/cornerstone_open_season.
Ohio-based utility companyFirstEnergy Corp. said it is investing $35 million for new electric transmission projects to support Marcellus Shale development in western Pennsylvania. The projects include upgrading an existing transmission line as well as building or expanding two electric substations to accommodate natural gas processing plants and compressor stations in the area. FirstEnergy said such facilities account for about 370 MW of projected load growth in the area. The work is part of a $250 million investment plan for the company's service area (see Shale Daily, Jan. 5).
A U.S. District Court judge in Kansas affirmed a recommendation by a court-appointed panel that Northern Natural Gas Co. should pay $7.3 million for its condemnation of more than 9,000 acres in south-central Kansas in order to contain gas migrating from an underground storage facility. The amount is far less than what landowners and oil/gas producers had been seeking in the multi-year case (see Daily GPI, Aug. 29, 2014). The property-taking by Northern Natural was done to contain gas that had been migrating from the company's Cunningham Storage Field in Pratt, Reno and Kingman counties (see Daily GPI, March 15, 2012; March 18, 2011; Jan. 7, 2011; July 26, 2010; June 4, 2010). Some parties in the matter chose to settle with Northern and accept its offer without going to trial. They got a better deal than the panel recommended, Northern said last year at the time the panel made its recommendation. The court must now decide how to split the amount awarded in the case among affected landowners in the three counties. A conference is scheduled for Feb. 18.